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LGBT+ Conservatives slammed for praising Theresa May’s deal with anti-gay DUP

By Joshua Haigh

Political group LGBT+ Conservatives are being criticised for praising Theresa May’s deal with the DUP.

Under the terms of the £1bn agreement, the DUP will support the government in parliamentary votes relating to the Budget, Brexit, and legislation contained within the Queen’s speech.

Following news of the deal, the officially affiliated LGBT group took to their Twitter account to retweet MP Ben Howlett, who praised the “stability” that the agreement would bring to the UK.

The tweet read:  “For the stability and future of our country, I am pleased an agreement has been reached by the Govt.”

Many  on Twitter were quick to express their outrage over the tweet, which appeared to blindly ignore the DUP’s notoriously anti-gay history.

One angry critic replied: “The absolute state of the group proudly sharing news of when the DUP think gays are abhorrent”.

Another simply wrote: “Mad. Mad mad mad.”

Founded in the early 1970s by evangelical Protestant minister and loyalist Ian Paisley, the DUP has a long and well-documented history of opposing LGBT equality.

In 1977 it launched the ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’ campaign, which sought to prevent the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Northern Ireland, and in recent years the party has repeatedly blocked the introduction of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, which remains the only region in the UK where gay people are denied the right to marry.

In November 2015, a historic breakthrough appeared to have been reached when a majority of the Northern Ireland Assembly voted to legalise marriage equality, only for the DUP to effectively veto the measure under the terms of Stormont’s power-sharing agreement.

After the talks between the Conservative party and DUP began earlier this month, it emerged that Arlene Foster actively sought to prevent same-sex North Irish couples from getting married in Scotland following the legalisation of equal marriage there in 2015.

More stories:
The Ulster Paradox: Why do so many gay people in Norther Ireland vote DUP?
Former soldier James Wharton accuses May of throwing LGBT Tories ‘under the bus’ as he quits party over DUP talks